Copyright Suit Against Google Ripped Off Another Suit's Wording

from the second-level-copying dept

The latest in a long string of copyright suits against Google came yesterday when Grateful Dead mandolin player David Grisman claimed damages from certain clips of him performing that appeared on YouTube. Apart from the irony of a Grateful Dead member complaining about fans sharing his clips, it seems that the language in the initial complaint was lifted word for word from another suit against Google on a similar subject. The firm that wrote the initial complaint is not amused, although these things aren’t copyrighted, so there doesn’t appear to be any legal problem here. As law professor Stephen Bainbridge points out, the real issue here is ethics. Lawyers typically charge their clients by the hour, but if they’re just cutting and pasting, then they’re probably not putting in as many hours as they claim. Of course, if basic tasks can be done by cut and paste, it would seem to undermine the need for such high barriers to entry into the legal profession. Update: As a number of commenters have pointed out, David Grisman may have played music with the Grateful Dead, but was not actually a full-fledged member of the band.

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “Copyright Suit Against Google Ripped Off Another Suit's Wording”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
Richard Dunham says:

not a Grateful Dead member

That would be ironic, if David Grisman was a Grateful Dead member. But he’s not. He did tour with Jerry Garcia, the Grateful Dead’s lead guitarist, but he was not a member of the band. The original article describes him as a player “who once performed with the Grateful Dead,” which I’m not even sure is true. But even if he sat in on a few shows, that does not make him a member. The Beach Boys once performed with the Grateful Dead, but that doesn’t mean that it would be ironic for the Beach Boys to lodge copyright complaints.

Max says:

Re: not a Grateful Dead member

Grisman was not an “official” member of the Grateful Dead anymore than Bruce Hornsby was. Both played with the band and toured with them but were not considered part of the band.

The real irony is that the Dead approved of and supported the recording and free distribution of their concerts and even set up recording areas for those who wanted to at each concert.

Richard Dunham says:

Re: Re: not a Grateful Dead member

Sorry to nitpick. Bruce Hornsby toured with the Dead, but David Grisman did not. David Grisman toured with Jerry Garcia, and they performed as a duet. I’m not sure David Grisman was ever on stage with the full Grateful Dead.

To your point, there were taper sections at the Garcia/Grisman shows, so I agree it is ironic.

I just wish Techdirt was at least as accurate as the articles it cited.

GoblinJuice says:


Yeah, okay, The Dead was before my generation and, er… yeah, I totally don’t get them. Gotta be high as hell to enjoy their music, I guess. Anyway!

I’ve always understood that The Dead don’t give a rat’s ass if people post/trade/whatever recordings of live performances – so long as they aren’t sold.

So, basically, we’ve got one dick who did some stuff with them and he’s… what? What in the hell does he hope to get out of this?

You’re a friggin’ nobody. Be happy people are listening to your music.

The “I haven’t really done anything with my life, but… maybe… if I sue the right company… I’ll get rich!!!” style of thinking is disgusting.


Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...